My 4 Wishes For TV In 2012


Happy New Year everyone! During the holiday break, I was musing on topics for my articles, and rather than making resolutions for the New Year, I thought it would be better to talk about my wishes for the New Year – it sounds so much more hopeful! These wishes are presented in no particular order.

Intelligent Crossovers
 

Steve, Kensi and Joe - Hawaii Five-0

Many times I have seen fans discussing wished for crossovers between favorite shows. Some have no chance of ever happening, but still make interesting topics of conversation. However, some crossovers could work, with some intelligent writing.

I am hoping and wishing that we are seeing this very thing with Hawaii Five-0 and NCIS: Los Angeles, with the recent story line involving Kensi. Before the holidays, the character made a brief appearance on Hawaii Five-0, and in a more recent episode, the new deputy director referred to her trips to the islands, implying that she had been back there off camera. This is all very plausible, and I’m wishing for more!

Some other examples of successful crossovers have been the ones done between Eureka and Warehouse 13 and of course NCIS and NCIS: Los Angeles. Some fan proposed ones that could also work would be Burn Notice/White Collar and Royal Pains/Burn Notice, to name just two.

Give Shows A Chance
 

Malcolm, Inara, Jayne, Wash, Zoe, Kaylee, River, Simon, Shepherd - Firefly

The bane of my existence (ok, that’s an exaggeration, but you know what I mean) is when a network pulls a show before it has a chance to fully hit its stride. How many shows have you watched, only to have them canceled after 5, 6, or 7 episodes, or maybe just one season? In a way, I think the people in charge are shooting themselves in the foot, because I have heard lots of people comment that they don’t want to get invested in a program only to see it canceled. So, many people do not opt to watch new shows, making their audience share lower, which leads to a vicious cycle of premature cancellation.

I think the most popular example of this, at least among my friends is Firefly, which was axed after only one season. So much wasted potential…

It takes time for a show to find its footing, to establish the characters, for the actors to become familiar with each other’s styles so that on screen relationships look natural to the audience. If you don’t believe me, just look back at first season episodes of popular programs that have run for several years – I personally think one of the best examples of this is Star Trek: The Next Generation. Watch an episode from season 7, then watch one of the first few episodes of season 1 – and then tell me you don’t agree!

Quality Science Fiction
 

Magnus, Will - Sanctuary; Pete, Myka - Warehouse 13; Olivia, Peter, Astrid, Walter - Fringe; Tom - Falling Skies

Good quality science fiction is expensive to produce, so why would networks choose to produce something that costs a lot, when it is so much more lucrative to do a reality show which costs very little? It’s a business, I get it, but I can still dream, can’t I?

A few years ago, I was attending a science fiction convention, and while riding in an elevator, was listening to someone complain and question why the SyFy channel was showing wrestling! I thought it was a reasonable question, and therefore was very interested to hear a response from a fellow who said he had worked for the SyFy channel for a while. His answer was that the wrestling programming helped pay for the other more expensive programming by offsetting the costs. After all, visual effects are very expensive, and I don’t know about you, but I prefer them to be done well or not at all. So, if it means we can have some quality science fiction, I have no problem with the SyFy channel showing wrestling, as long as I don’t have to watch it!

Personally, I consider Stargate SG-1, Stargate Atlantis, V, Star Trek: The Next Generation, and Star Trek: Deep Space 9 to all be quality science fiction. Of shows currently on the air, I would list Falling Skies, Sanctuary, Warehouse 13, and Fringe. But, so many science fiction shows are just “monster of the week” pedestrian fare. And don’t even get me started on the SyFy channel movie of the week!

Stop Killing Off Favorite Characters
 

Beckett - Stargate Atlantis; Fraiser - Stargate SG-1; Castiel - Supernatural, Bobby - Supernatural

I know that many of you out there will disagree with me on this one, but please hear me out. The most common reason I hear behind killing off a character – and I am not talking about one time appearances – is that they need to show how “dangerous” the activity is. But truthfully, do we, the audience, not understand that law enforcement, being a spy or being in the military, is a dangerous occupation? Do we really need to have someone killed so that we will believe it is “realistic?” And why focus on just that one aspect of realism? There are *plenty* of other places where shows are not realistic.

Now, I can certainly understand them killing someone off if it is a contractual thing, or the actor wishes to leave the series, but those cases seem to be in the minority compared to just killing someone to prove the activities on the show are dangerous. I can give lots of examples of this with just my own personal favorites. For instance, Bobby and Castiel on Supernatural – although the jury is still out on Castiel – since after all, No One Ever Dies In Scifi. Then we have the cases of Dr. Fraiser on Stargate SG-1 and Dr. Beckett on Stargate Atlantis – in fact, in the Stargate world, being a doctor was a dangerous occupation, so that by the time the third series in the franchise rolled around, Stargate Universe, they killed the doctor off in the pilot and only a medic ended up on Destiny. It gave her a better chance of survival I guess.

So, there you have them, my 4 wishes for 2012. Do you agree or disagree? Do you have any other wishes you can add to my list? Please let me know in the comments below.